Major Dad 1984

Cursed By A Classical Education

Let's just say that I intend to use this blog to blow off some steam that I might be feeling with the International/National media, my work situation, or maybe even to tee off on the family in a humorous way of course!


What? A Smoker? YOU"RE FIRED!!!

No, this isn't from the conclusion of the latest "The Apprentice" episode with "The Donald" pitching one of his wanna-be proteges. This is actually happening...well, I guess it's happened in Michigan. how appropriate it is this just six days into my sobriety from nicotine and nicotine products? Anyway, go take a peek at this short article and get some of the background facts. As always, come on back and see what might be on my mind...

Company Fires All Employees Who Smoke

If you didn't dig a little deeper and read the background materials contained in the linked might want to do so. This shouldn't have come as a surprise to any of the Weyco employees, as they were given at a minimum four months notice of the policy and the consequences of choosing non-compliance. I guess things finally hit the media when the employer actually followed through with the firings as promised.

While I'm just recently off the nicotine again...I still think that what a person does "off the job" is their own business. I lit each and every cigarette knowing full well that they were not doing anything to increase my general level of health or longevity. That knowledge and finally realizing just how much money I was literally burning into ash trays brought me to my senses...and I didn't buy another cigarette. It was my decision to quit NOT somebody else.

Back to the personal freedom here...the employer, Weyco is a relatively small company that's concerned about the rising cost of providing health care insurance to their employees as part of a benefits package. It really is no mystery that smokers by in large have more health issues and probably do cost the health care/insurance industry more than non-smokers do. I know this to be true personally as while I smoke, I tend to have more troubles with allergies, colds, and sinus infections. The Weyco solution was to provide a level standard of health care coverage only to non-smoking employees. Smokers were no longer welcome at Weyco.

Part of the problem here is that there's a slippery slope of behaviors that effect the state of our health each day.

What will industry's next step be?

  • Weigh ins? Obesity has been linked to health problems...

  • Body fat screening? See above...

  • Blood pressure checks? Hypertension and heart disease are easily the greatest threats...

  • Blood tests looking for traces of fast food grease? Why not target McDonalds and Burger King like Phillip Morris?

  • Will companies conduct physical training like we have in the military or in Japanese industry? Three cheers for personal freedoms!

Now perhaps it's time to take the burden off the employer regarding health least directly. If an employer were receive the same amount of "credit" for providing a benefit, then in turn placed the burden for acquiring the health insurance through a pre-negotiated contract on the employees directly. An employee would receive enough to cover the entire premium or some agreed upon portion of it. An employer could choose to pay enough to insure a smoker OR like Weyco they could simply provide enough "benefit money" to insure at the non-smoker rate.

The insurers will be the ones that set the rates...the conditions of insurability...the height/weight charts, acceptable cholesterol levels, appropriate body fat percentages, and the rest of the risk factors insurance companies deal with every day.

Let's get the employers out of the cycle...and put the responsiblity back on the people that should have it, the employee.

From the high healthy as I can be...

MajorDad And here is the rest of it.

Read the rest of the longer story!


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